Archive for August, 2008

Cruz del Pueblo Series 03

Guanajuato was wonderful. It was exceptionally nice seeing the madres. Madre Elvira greeted us at the door and we didn’t move from the entrance for the first 20 minutes as we excitedly caught up with one another. Madre Elvira knows something about everything and, along with Amanda Morgan, is the best conversationalist I know. She’s funny, bright, and always has a gleam in her eye. She’s been busy learning about her computer and all the new software that has been a god send, saving her so much time.

As always, it was heartwarming and centering to be in Madre Lourde’s presence. She’s struggling at this time to come up with enough money to send all the girls to school. There was one final girl who didn’t have any familial resources or a sponsor. Madre Lourdes didn’t know how she would send her to school. Luckily, a few months ago, Mala had been talking with a patron at the Eugene Public Library about the convent. For whatever reason, the man felt compelled to send me a check for $50 which I guarded until I could hand it over to Madre Lourdes. The moment came this weekend when she told me about this little girl. Allowing a child without family and zero resources to attend school is fifty dollars well spent if you ask me.

The list is always long when it comes to what the convent needs. But economics has hit hard in Mexico too and there is less financial support for social causes these days. So even the basics are being trimmed back. Next on the list is to find a way to buy mattresses. Having spent the night at the convent, I can attest to the fact that the mattresses are as hard as rocks as are the pillows. At the top of ML’s wishlist is new mattresses for the girls. Knowing the good work that these contemplatives do for those who have nothing, I’m sure they’ll get those mattresses.

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Cruz del Pueblo Series 02

We’re in Guanajuato for the weekend visiting Madre Lourdes and a city we love.

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Cruz del Pueblo

Calzada de la Presa to Nuñez.
Nuñez to Murillo.
Murillo to Barranka.
Barranka to Garita.
Cross Real A QR and Garita turns into Cruz del Pueblo.
Walk up 244 steps to Cabello and then you’re only 95 steps to the cross where you can see the entire town and then some.

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Note to self…

Last night I dreamt I met a woman struggling with her contribution of a play coming to town. I asked her how she was involved and she told me that she was writing the music. There was a song in particular that wasn’t coming to her. No matter what she did in terms of putting together lyrics and melody, the only part that felt right was the chorus.

So I asked her what the chorus was and she sang it to me with deep emotion and personal connection, “I am right here, right now.” I told her that in my opinion, the way that she sang those words was enough… enough for the entire song. That’s all it needed to say.


Things are looking up. I printed out my business cards again and you can see my cellphone number. F and I are meeting with Joe on Monday to see if he likes us. He’s 91, a New Yorker, and I know I already like him. Joe’s wife died three years ago and he’s looking for roommates. We’re hoping that will be us. We’ll know Monday evening.

There’s also a wonderful woman in town doing everything she can to hook F and I to employment. She’s well connected and uncommonly kind. So there’s a few things out there. I’m practicing stillness to see where I gravitate instead of trying to force anything.

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Forever 54

54, the new 21, at least in San Miguel de Allende.

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Cellphone mexicana

Fernando and I set out to get me a cellphone today. What I thought might take a couple hours max, ended up a seven hour enterprise. We thought we could take my old cellphone in and have the Telmex folks perform something simple: a chip trade maybe, or a cellphone activation perhaps. But as I’ve learned, it’s never simple in Mexico.

We set out around noon. One would imagine that most phone stores would be open at noon. We found out otherwise. We walked to the first place: closed. Same with the next two. At last, and after a lot of walking, store number four was open. It was now around 3:00 PM.

Store number four told us that a guy from Queretaro comes by every Wednesday to pick up American cellphones needing activation. He returns with them on Saturday. Having gone almost a month without a cellphone, I was anxious to get a number today so I could put it on my business card and start passing the cards out to spas in town. Phone number = business card = employment = getting out of F’s mother’s house and into a place of our own. Alternatively, store number four said we could go to the super Telmex close to Mega and they could activate our phone.

So we went to super Telmex. At this point, we started taking buses. Super Telmex took one look at my American phone and told me they couldn’t do anything there but that there was a place in town that could activate my phone. Apparently, the other place in town would hook my phone up to a computer to unlock it so it could then work with a Telmex card. The service cost 450 pesos or roughly $45.

The woman back at store number four had told us that we could buy a cheap cellphone for 295 pesos that came with a hundred minutes. So we opted to take a bus back to store number four and review our choices. Once there, we upgraded to a 395 peso phone which we understood came with 300 free minutes (100 minutes a month for three months: a premotional). But as she thanked us and said goodbye, she repeated the conditions of our purchase and it changed to 100 free minutes instead of 300.

We walked out confused. We weren’t sure what the deal was now. So on our way home, we stopped at the originally closed/first phone store and asked if it was 100 free minutes or 300 free minutes. One hundred. Ok.

I have a cellphone now. It has 100 free minutes. I’ve already put it on my business card and printed out business cards tonight at Beatrice’s store. The only thing is you can’t see the phone number.

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Jim thought his running days were over until he saw the trophies and medals prominently displayed in Beatrice’s store. He also took a look at Beatrice and liked her immediately. She had all the makings of a new friend, including a comprehensive familiarity with the land that comes about through running it routinely.


Fernando and I ran through the streets of San Miguel de Allende this morning. We have a built in alarm clock next door, a rooster that begins crowing at 4:30am every morning on the dot. I used a pair of F’s old shoes (no shoelaces) and there was just enough light when we started not to trip over the cobblestones. When I regain any of the conditioning that I left in Eugene, I’ll invite Beatrice for a run. I only hope she doesn’t run in circles around me.

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